RARE Daily

LifeArc Launches $49.5 Million Funding Call to Create Translational Rare Disease Centers

April 25, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

The self-funded medical research charity LifeArc said it will inject $49.5 million (£40 million) into the United Kingdom rare disease research landscape as it invites academic institutions to apply for funding to create up to five new translational rare disease centers in the United Kingdom in addition to a separate coordinating hub.

The latest initiative in LifeArc’s strategy to invest up to $1.6 billion (£1.3 billion) by 2030 in life science research where it can bring the greatest impact for patients.

Under the initiative, coordinated research carried out at the new translational rare disease centers will capitalize on the United Kingdom’s rare disease research base and help deliver new therapeutics and diagnostics for patients with a rare disease in the United Kingdom and around the world.

“The UK has a strong rare disease research base and we hope this funding will give impetus to the community, increase the volume and depth of research, foster collaborative approaches and ultimately find answers and solutions for patients living with a rare disease,” said Catriona Crombie, associate director of technology transfer at LifeArc.

Collaborative applications, led by UK academic institutions are being invited to form the translational rare disease centers, which are intended to strengthen the UK’s rare disease translational capabilities by increasing the volume of rare disease research and catalyzing translation of the rare disease research base, supporting the establishment and progression of careers in rare disease translational research, increasing the understanding of the needs of rare disease patients with industry and policy makers, and becoming a central point for engagement with the patient community.

The investment is part of LifeArc’s broader commitment to the rare disease translational research field. Most recently the charity awarded a total of $3.7 million (£3 million) to six UK universities to accelerate research that will help people living with rare diseases. In addition, the LifeArc Philanthropic Fund awards grants to academics with promising rare disease translational research projects and since 2017, $18.1 million (£14.6 million) has been awarded to 45 research projects, addressing 33 rare disease indications.

Photo: Catriona Crombie, associate director of technology transfer at LifeArc

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